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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Tue Jun 18 - 11:55 AM | Thu Jun 20 - 09:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 9/12/03

Belichick: I am confident in our team. What we need to do is go out and play well.

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            **BB:**  What do we have today?

**Q: Did you see the comments that Tedy Bruschi made in Sports Illustrated?

BB:** No I didn't see them. I kind of heard about them.

**Q: Did you want to read them? [Laughter]

BB:** [Laughter] I think Tedy is one of our most committed players. He is one of our team captains. He has and continues to have a terrific attitude. I am glad that we have Tedy Bruschi on our team. I think the guy is a good football player and I really like him.

**Q: You are not concerned with the message?

BB:** We've moved on. I think that is the best way I can put it.

**Q: Ted Johnson, have you given any thought to putting him on injured reserved?

BB:** Not at this point. We have talked about it but at this point I don't think we want to make that move. It is something that we will evaluate as we go through his rehab and see where he is at. Hopefully we won't need to do that and we definitely won't do it for a while. We will give it a chance to see how it comes along.

**Q: Did he play for a lengthy amount of time after it happened?

BB:** He played some; I wouldn't say it was lengthy. I think it happened in the fourth quarter so it was a few more plays. I talked to him after the game and he really wasn't concerned about it. He felt like it was a bruise but it turned out differently.

**Q: After a loss like last week, will you as a coach find out a lot about your team on how they respond?

BB:** Sure. I think you find out something about your team every week. Each situation is different. Sure it will be important for our team to put last week behind us and move on and I think that is what we are going to do.

**Q: I mean in terms of character, in terms of leadership, the backbone I guess.

BB:** I know what you are saying. I am not saying it is not an issue. I am confident in our team from that standpoint. What we need to do is go out and play well. That is the bottom line. We need to play well. That means doing things right, not turning the ball over, not getting a lot of penalties, playing well on third down, being a tough physical team, and making the right decisions. That to me is really what it is about. I don't have a problem with the work ethic or the toughness or the character of the team. We need to play better. We can't play like we played last week or we won't beat anybody.

**Q: What is the hardest part of moving on?

BB:** Watching the tape the day after.

**Q: The challenges for you…

BB:** Once you get past Monday you are on to the next team. We can't sit here and talk about that game. It is done. It is over with. We have already addressed it and we are on to Philadelphia. The toughest part is dealing with going through it blow-by-blow and watching everything that happened and going through all of the corrections and trying to get things right. Once it is done, it is done and you are on to the next team. It is like that after a win too. You can't sit there after you win a game and be thinking about that game for four or five days afterwards either. It is great if you won. It's not good if you lost but there is another game ahead and you have to meet that challenge head on. You just can't worry about what is going on behind you.

**Q: How did Duce Staley look on Monday?

BB:** Tampa Bay can make everybody not look as good as they might look in some other games. I thought that he played competitively. He is definitely back and ready to go. They used a number of different backs in their rotational system with their receivers and tight ends. They play a lot of different people on offense and get a lot people involved. I think Duce looks like he is fine. I am sure he will get a little bit better each week now for a few weeks as he builds up his timing.

**Q: Is it more difficult to evaluate your team on last week's game execution-wise after a game like that? It seemed like they weren't there mentally.

BB:** I think that there is a tendency to try to put everything on some kind of mental condition. Every time there is a mistake or every time that a play is not made, it is put on a mental condition. Or, when one is made that is attributed to a mental condition too. I am not really sure that is the case. I think you can go out there and be ready to go and the other guys are ready to go and they do better than you do. Sometimes it is the same situation and you do better than they do. Sometimes it is a play, it's the way certain things are matched up or it is a call, whatever it is. It comes down to execution. It comes down to being able to, as a team, all 11 guys, not just one, collectively do what needs to be done on each individual play. I think every time something goes wrong, they say, 'Well it was mental because the team wasn't ready or something happened or somebody was injured, it was windy or it was cold, or the sun was in our eyes.' There are 1,000 of them. It's always something. We could write up 8,000 excuses right now about what went wrong and pick out one every time something doesn't go perfectly. Every team in the league could do that. I think it really comes down to the execution of the game. From that standpoint, that is really what the evaluation is about is being able to go out there and do it.

**Q: Where do you put emotion in terms of being successful?

BB:** Emotion? Well, I put it below execution let's put it that way. I don't know. I don't rank them. I think everything is important and you try to do a good job in every area but the most important thing is execution. If you can't execute what you are trying to do…every once and a while you will luck out and something will happen where it will work out okay. In the long run, if you don't execute what you are trying to do as a team, it is probably going to catch up to you.

**Q: When you brought Roman Phifer here, did you expect that he would be the player that he is? He is a pretty consistent player ad he is getting old and he is still coming along.

BB:** He really is. Yeah, well when we brought Roman in, we told him that he would probably be a role player and we would use him a little bit on third downs and maybe some situationally on early downs. But he has been a 90 percent play-time player when he has played which has been most of the time. He has been pretty durable. He has only missed a couple of games. He has been out there on special teams. He has been out there on virtually every defensive situation that we have had. We joke about it, 'We are going to make you a situation player – it's every single situation, that is what you are in for.'

**Q: How does he do that?

BB:** He just keeps on ticking. He works hard in the offseason. He is in good shape. He keeps himself in good condition. Roman is a very bright guy. He is a smart player. He knows how to take advantage of every edge he can get in terms of position or anticipation of plays or getting a little jump on things. He is a good, smart football player that has good athleticism and good size for the position and has just been able to maintain a level of play for a number of years. It is pretty remarkable. You just don't see a lot of guys, especially at his position, do what he has been able to do.

**Q: Any news on the 53rd roster spot?

BB:** No that is still quiet.

**Q: No NFL players out there?

BB:** No, there are plenty of them out there believe me.

**Q: You always say you would keep 60 if you could and now you have 52.

BB:** Right. What the issue really comes down to right now is if you bring a player in and you make him inactive, then you are just bringing him in to make him inactive. You can't really play him. You can't give him any reps in your regular offensive or defensive system because he is going to be inactive so you want to practice the guys who are going to play. Frankly, probably our practice squad players would be ahead of that group of players right now. Not that we have practice squad players in every position, but the one's where we have them, they probably would be ahead of guys that we would bring in. I just don't think it is the right time. We just haven't found the right guy that we feel like we can say, 'Well this is something that would really be a good move for us here.' That is not to say that there aren't other players that are deserving of that spot that we could sign, that is definitely true. It's just for right now the timing of it just doesn't…we just haven't found the right guy. What we really don't want to do is bring a guy in this week and then have to move him off next week and move somebody else in where it looks like you are just running guys through a revolving door and there is no purpose to it. We just really don't want to get into that.

**Q: Are you locked into bringing a veteran in to make the transition smoother?

BB:** No. Not at all. It is just finding the right player and really having it work. We've talked about a lot of different guys. It isn't like we haven't talked about 15 or 20 guys and you say, 'Okay, what are the positives and what is the problem with it?' I guess I would just say we don't feel like there is a real good clean fit. Part of that definitely has to do with bringing guys in and putting them on the inactive list.

**Q: If you bring a player in now, you are no longer required to guarantee their salary for the rest of this season?

BB:** It is not guaranteed for the whole season, no. It depends on how the player comes to you. For example, if we were to sign a player off of another team's practice squad, we would be committed to keep that player on the roster for three weeks. The players that you are not obligated to would be the non-vested veterans who are not with any team. But players who are with other teams, whether they are on the practice squads or if they are vested veterans, then you do have a commitment to them but it is not for the entire season.

**Q: Is there a chance that spot will stay open until Mike Cloud comes back?

BB:** Yes, there is. We also have a number of players on PUP and that is another thing that we have talked about. At some point in time, whether it is in the four week span or whether it is in the six week PUP span, there could be a need to bring a player in there. It gets back to the same thing, 'Do we want to do it now for a week or two and then make another move? Does it look like we are just spinning our wheels until we find the right guy?' The practice squad players, the PUP players, the reserve list players, all of those are possibilities for guys who could be put into that spot.

**Q: How big of a factor can the fans be in a stadium?

BB:** Well, I think the Buffalo crowd last week, it was a very loud stadium similar probably to the Tennessee game last year. In talking it the players and just my impression on the sideline, it was hard to hear. You face that every week at some point or another in the game. But I thought that last week and again in Tennessee was probably another example of games where it lasted for much longer than just periods of time throughout the game. Sure the communication is definitely an issue. We had some problems with it. We've been in loud stadiums before. I think we need to be able to overcome that. I am not saying that just because it is loud that lets you off the hook for false start penalties and communication problems and all of that because we do it out here where we turn the volume up high enough where you can't hear anything and we do it in stadiums where it is loud and you just have to play through it. There is no other way through it. You just have to play through it. We need to do a better job than we did last week that is for sure.

**Q: Is it important to get the crowd out of the game early?

BB:** I think any time you play well, you always have less - you are always going to have some, but you have a little bit less enthusiasm from the home fans when you are the visiting team and you are playing well. You always try to do that.

**Q: Have you ever been called for an excessive crowd noise penalty?

BB:** No. The way that works actually, the way I understand it, there isn't a penalty. It would just be if the home team is doing something illegal in terms of creating noise, then that is handled through a fine system. That is not handled by the referees on the field, the NFL has a game management person, whatever the title is, and he just looks at how the whole game operations runs. There are certain things that you have to comply with. If they are outlined, then that could result in a fine which I don't think any of that was the case, I am not saying that. I am just answering the question. I am not trying to imply that

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